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Published on : Mar 10, 2015

Colombian regulators are expecting to soon send a final ruling regarding an enduring antitrust investigation of the country’s local cement industry. This move is expected to result in sanctions for Columbia’s top cement manufacturers.

Pablo Felipe Robledo del Castillo, head of industry and commerce superintendent of Columbia told a local daily newspaper that by the middle of this year the government agency will announce the results of the investigation into the alleged anticompetitive practices seen in the country’s cement industry and other business sectors.  

Robledo also stated that the agency is planning to present a bill on the 16th March that would help in making the sanctions regarding anticompetitive practices in Columbia much stronger. This rule will also allow the agency to increase sanctions above the currently specified nominal amount of 65 billion pesos (US$25 million), by adding percentages of equities or revenue values of companies so as to bolster penalties.

In 2013, the SIC had announced that it had started investigations about the allegation that Columbia’s cement company executives had conspired in inflating cement prices in Columbia since as early as the year 2010. 

The said investigation examined the practices of 14 former and current top executives at five cement manufacturing firms, including the country’s three biggest producers: Cementos Argos and the local subordinate bodies of Holcim and Cemex.

Of these three, Argos is the largest vendor of the cement industry in Columbia, with a market share of nearly 46% of the country’s overall cement sales. Argos registered revenuew worth US$1.2 billion in the fiscal year 2014. The company also controls nearly 60% shares of the Columbia’s overall cement production capacity while Holcim and Cemex have a combined hold upon the country’s overall cement production.